Archive for Seriously it’s time to stop

How does GOP lure supporters? By giving away lethal weapons.

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free gun chick not included lethal weapons

because FREEDOM

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

Gun owners are passionate, and the GOP knows it, which is exactly why they use lethal weapons to bribe entice them. Nothing says "right to life" like an AR-15... unless, of course, you get Second Amendmented by one. That "culture of life" "freedom loving" conservatives love to trumpet is nothing more than a culture of violence and intimidation.

And gun violence abruptly ends the freedom to breathe.

The New York Times:

Online gun sweepstakes have become one of the most useful tools for campaign outreach in the 2014 Republican primaries. Across the country, from a race for sheriff in California to the United States Senate primary in South Carolina, candidates are using high-powered pistols and rifles as a lure to build up their donor lists and expand their base of support.

The method may be new, but the concept is actually a durable campaign device. Take a group of possible supporters who are highly motivated around an issue, in this case gun ownership and Second Amendment rights, and pique their interest with good marketing. Then, once you have their attention, solicit their personal information and follow up to ask for support and money. [...]

[The NRA] employs a range of online campaigns, including Facebook-based contests that provide the organization not just with people’s names, but also with their information-rich public profiles and lists of their friends. Millions of people have entered these contests, the group said.

Zac Moffatt, who oversaw Mitt Romney’s digital strategy in 2012 and founded a firm that develops online campaigns, notes that dangling lethal weapons in front of gun fondling voters "could get you a couple extra thousand votes you didn’t otherwise know about.”

How "pro-life" can you get?

And speaking of hypocrisy, in order to qualify for a chance to win a killing machine, you have to pass a-- wait for it-- background check. But... but... gun zealots hate those pesky background checks! What gives?

Says Lee Bright, a state senator from South Carolina who is primarying GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, “You definitely don’t want [a weapon did not fall into the wrong hands]... Not in the middle of the campaign.”

Ahhh, the old "it's campaign time, so we better look over our shoulders up our hypocrisy game play it safe" plan.

Apparently ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo is throwing caution to the windbag. He's relying on Ted Nugent to get his message out. Nugent:

“We all better wake up and fight back together before it’s too late,” Mr. Nugent wrote in an email to Tancredo supporters. “Enter to win a semiautomatic AR-15 – when you’re done, consider making a donation of $25 or more to help Tom keep our freedoms protected.”

Give us all your money and you could win a chance to own a brand new deadly weapon with which you can kill another human being! But first and foremost, donate! Because... freedom!

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Cliff Notes: "Gun insanity, my friends, this is where Florida really and truly excels."

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gun insanity defend myself cartoon

My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up; Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, so I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has comedic insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here. It's about Florida and its Zombie Apocalypse gun insanity bill. 'Nuff said.

Here are bits and pieces that don't do it justice. Please, link over for the entire post:

Florida is what you might call a special place. There’s a reason why when you type “Why is Florida…” into the Google Machine, among the first options that pop up are “crazy” and “so crazy.”[...]

But gun insanity, my friends, this is where Florida really and truly excels. Whether it’s their pioneering effort in passing racist Stand Your Ground laws (Thanks to former Gov. Jeb Bush—The Smart One!—and pint-sized troll-cum-gun lobbyist Marion Hammer) or applying them to non-whites possessing the audacity to get their groove on while gassing or munching too loud on rainbow candy treats.

Their can-do spirit comes in the form of the disgruntled marching into a school-board meeting in Panama City and firing on the assembled members in an attempt to get his wife’s job back. Shooting a man for texting his babysitter from a movie theater. And returning a Glock pistol and assault rifle to a gentleman named Wayne Rogers, after he shot his “drinking buddy.” And killed him. Did I mention Rogers is blind?

For these reasons and many other infamous ones, you could call Florida the Grand Ole Opry of gun nuttery. [...]

Presently, the gun monster’s reared its ugly head in the form of an NRA-backed bill in the statehouse—HB 209—that seeks to allow anyone lacking a concealed carry permit to go ahead and ignore that whole permit thing during “riots” and other emergencies.... And just what constitutes an emergency that would put this law into effect? Nobody knows, least of all the sponsor of the bill , State Rep. Heather Fitzhagen (R-Fort Myers). [...]

The result is that those with actual experience dealing with criminals, such as Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, respond like this: “To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity… The bill is crazy. It’s absurd.”[...]

[A]s we understood for most of our history in this country and Texas’ governor explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.”

Please read the entire post at The Daily Beast, here.

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"Only intensive push in next 15 years can stave off climate change disaster"

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tar sands keystone xl protest climate change disaster

The New York Times has an unnerving article about a United Nations report that "only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off" a potential climate change disaster later this century:

The report did find some reasons for cautious optimism. The costs of renewable energy like wind and solar power are now falling so fast that their deployment on a large scale is becoming practical, the report said. In fact, extensive use of renewable energy is already starting in countries such as Denmark and Germany, and to a lesser degree in some American states, including California, Iowa and Texas. [...]

Yet the report found that the emissions problem is still outrunning the will to tackle it, with global emissions rising almost twice as fast in the first decade of this century than in the last decades of the 20th century.

That was posted today. Yesterday, MSNBC's Alex Witt interviewed  John Fiege, the director and producer of "Above All Else," a documentary about lives affected by the Keystone XL tar sands Pipeline project. Juxtaposing these two reports in one post-- one on impending climate change disaster and the other on a short-sighted, corporate disaster-in waiting-- should be a wake-up call. But will it be?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Witt: If completed, the [Keystone XL] pipeline could stretch 2,000 miles from the oil fields of Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast. Deep in the heart of Texas, a group of rural land owners and student activists came together in an unlikely union to protest the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. The property owners claim they were manipulated into signing over their land to TransCanada. The energy company for its part is saying the pipeline is a job creator that will ensure North America's energy independence. What happened next is chronicled in a new documentary titled "Above All Else."...

Fiege: The companies building the pipeline were surprised to see such strong opposition from people who lived there. The thing in east Texas, they don't like a foreign company coming in and taking their property and they know how to fight back so it is an interesting conflict...

The folks who signed, as they learned more about what the Keystone XL pipeline is, and that its whole purpose is to transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, they didn't know that when they signed the agreement. They also didn't know that the company did not have the permits it needed to build the pipeline. So they felt like they were manipulated and lied to...

You know, another example of an oil project touted as being "state of the art, cutting edge" was the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf Coast that BP ran that exploded. We've heard this over and over again, where oil companies claim they're using state of the art technology-- they probably are-- but we see this over and over again that this infrastructure is not safe. ...

That's one of the main stories the film tells. If you're an individual, if you're an American and you want to fight back against this and you object to a foreign corporation taking your land and you want to do something about climate change, you are putting yourself at great peril and you're going to be crushed by these enormous corporate powers that have emerged and really taken an outsized, you know, section of power and wealth in our society. I think one thing this film chronicles is really a wake-up call for folks in the middle of the country and the reddest parts of red states who don't think this is a good system to have and feel completely disempowered.

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Oil spills send fish hearts into cardiac arrest

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SickFishw398h239

Who knew fish could have heart troubles? Then again, they're living beings with beating hearts. It's just that it never occurred to me to think about the little (and big) scaly guys in quite those terms. I should have, it's not like I never write about BP, Big Oil, and pollution, right? P.S. At this point, those words are all synonymous.

And they're also lethal.

In my morning Los Angeles Times, I came across a story about fish going into cardiac arrest because of the effects of the BP disaster... a story hidden on page A12. Of course, poisoning our waters is not only a health issue, it's also an economic one, and the two issues merge into one big fat mess.

Take it away, L.A. Times:

In studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on bluefin tuna spawning in the Gulf of Mexico, the research team discovered that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, block “signaling pathways” that allow potassium and calcium ions to flow in and out of cardiac cell membranes and sustain normal heart rates. [...]

Their study also suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity was potentially a common form of injury among a broad range of species in the vicinity of the oil spilled into one of the most productive ocean ecosystems in the world.

Previously, cancer was the concern when it came to the toxicity of PAH. Now this. By the way, PAHs are found in coal tar (see how "clean" coal is?), air pollution, urban runoff, and creosote:

Creosote is the portion of chemical products obtained by the distillation of a tar that remains heavier than water, notably useful for its anti-septic and preservative properties.[1] It is produced in some quantities from the burning of wood and coal in blast furnaces and fireplaces; commonly found inside chimney flues when the wood or coal burns incompletely, producing soot and tarry smoke, and is the compound responsible for the preservation and the flavor of meat in the process of smoking. ... The two main types in industrial production are wood-tar creosote and coal-tar creosote. The coal-tar variety, having stronger and more toxic properties..

Study leader Barbara Block is a professor of marine sciences at Stanford. Here's what she had to say:

This raises the possibility that exposure to environmental PAHs in many animals -- including humans -- could lead to cardiac arrhythmias and bradycardia, or slowing of the heart."

Now about that dirty, filthy, disaster-in-waiting, Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline that affects more people than it does fish...

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Pres. Obama, just say no to addiction to (tar sands) oil. Please.

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tar sands keystone xl oil pipeline emissions

Excuse me, Official Environmental Review, but the dirtiest oil on earth ("a mixture of clay, sand, rock, and tarry fossil fuel called bitumen, which can be hard as a hockey puck") is brought to you by the Keystone XL "tar sands" pipeline. Then again, tar sands “isn’t oil. This is a pipe-eating, planet-cooking, water-fouling goo. You can’t clean up tar.” Did I mention that, per said report, only 50 permanent jobs would be created?

Get real, State Department. The Arkansas pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact. Nevertheless, it looks like the State is leaning toward approving Keystone, even though it would bring the dirtiest oil on earth through America.

Here is some of what the Los Angeles Times had to say:

Environmentalists said the study neglected research that shows the pipeline would play a central role in the planned expansion of oil sands extraction, including a report by the Canadian Assn. of Petroleum Producers. [...] About one-fifth of Alberta's bitumen deposits can be strip-mined. The rest is deeper and would be tapped by injecting superheated steam. Both methods require burning fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide. [...]

[T]he current analysis conceded that mining Alberta's bitumen would generate an average of 17% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil refined in the U.S. It also said that, under certain scenarios, the pipeline could add as much as 27.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere annually, or the equivalent of putting 5.7 million additional cars on the road. [...]

By [2020], nearly all of Canada's emissions increase will be due to oil sands extraction, the report says.

Environmentalists also point out that the State Department's inspector general is conducting an inquiry into whether the contractor that produced the final impact statement, Environmental Resources Management, failed to disclose recent work it did for TransCanada, resulting in a conflict of interest.

Here is what Chris Hayes had to say:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hayes's astute Special Comment on breaking our, and President Obama's, addiction to fossil fuels included this:

Trillions of dollars of crude oil, of tar sands oil, of coal and natural gas, we have to leave it in the ground. Abandon it there. In other words, we have to stop...

The [Keystone XL] Pipeline is the line in the sand... It is quitting time if we are serious... We have to say no...

No single project is going to be the project that does us in, just like no single drink is what does the drunk in...

If we say we're going to quit today and then push it off to tomorrow, we are not quitting, so let us not fool ourselves. If we spend billions of dollars to tap an entire new keg, a dirty keg at that, we are not quitting. We are sinking further into our dependence and self-destruction...

This fight is far from over. ... The president will have the ultimate say. And he has set the standard very recently in his own State of the Union...

The miracle of those who break addiction is the incredible resolve they somehow manage to find within themselves to counter the inner addict logic... and anyone who breaks free of any addiction digs down and finds some inner strength to say, "No." To stop. To say, "This is the day I start to turn my life around."

And the question is whether we as citizens and Barack Obama as a president, as a human being, can find that strength within himself.

tar sands keystone xl oil pipeline map

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Score one for oil drilling opponents!

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that's oil folks smaller

I rail all the time about Big Oil drilling into every pristine and not-so pristine corner of the world, fracking, and the usual gluttons' utter disdain for keeping our precious earth and its inhabitants safe, healthy, and beautiful.

Writing about it for years on end is exhausting and is taking a toll. That is one of the main reasons I have outrage overload (and have been ordered to cut back for health reasons). It's not easy to rant endlessly, yet feel as if you're having no impact.

Thankfully, there are people with big, effective voices who are being heard:

environment erin brockovich tweet CA, West VirginiaLink

But today is different. Today I am the bearer of good news, or rather, the Los Angeles Times is:

The U.S. government violated the law when it opened millions of acres of the Arctic Ocean to offshore oil drilling, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, possibly delaying plans by companies such as Royal Dutch Shell to drill off the northwest coast of Alaska in the near future.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the Interior Department did not properly evaluate the impact of oil development in the Chukchi Sea when it sold more than $2.6 billion in development leases in the environmentally sensitive area in 2008.

A coalition of environmental advocacy groups and Alaska Native organizations sued the federal government, arguing that the U.S. had offered an estimated 30 million acres of oil leases for sale without sufficient scientific information or analysis of potential effects on the region.

bam

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Another school shooting, another study on gun access and risk of homicide, suicide

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shooting guns CT

An all too familiar news flash showed up in my inbox today: One dead, one arrested in shooting at Purdue University:

A lone gunman walked into a basement classroom at Purdue University Tuesday, shot and killed one person then calmly walked outside and turned himself in, police said.

And David just posted Police Chief Shoots Himself And Blames His Fleece Jacket.

When I opened my morning Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw this headline: Study takes new look at gun access and risk of homicide, suicide:

People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded. [...]

The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation's gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data. [...]

...Congress passed a law prohibiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from spending federal funds on research that could be interpreted as promoting or advocating for gun control measures.

We are becoming way too accustomed to news bulletins about school shootings, mass shootings, workplace shootings, "accidental" (negligent) shootings, you name it. And we have seen study after study like the one above that tells us what an unnecessarily violent country we are.

What will it take for this country to wake up? What will it take for gun-toting gun zealots to see the need for common sense legislation that could save lives? WTF is so hard about that?

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